Understanding Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Passing and Praying for His Swift Return
with Venerable Thubten Chodron
Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s unexpected passing has deeply affected students from around the world. He touched many students with his unwavering bodhicitta and his tireless service. Many people consider him to have been a Buddha, manifesting on this Earth out of his great compassion to guide others on the path to enlightenment.
In turn, many students have expressed a wide variety of emotions upon his passing, ranging from deep grief to immense gratitude. Others have expressed feelings of ambivalence and confusion.
Many questions have arisen with his passing. If Rinpoche has passed away, is it still possible to receive guidance from him? How might our prayers for his swift return work? Khandro-la said that Rinpoche took on the obstacles for His Holiness the Dalai Lama. What does this mean? How might we view the situation if we wanted to have a stronger connection with Rinpoche but never received the chance or had become slack with our practice? Is there something wrong with us if we never felt a heart connection to Rinpoche like so many other students did?
Venerable Thubten Chodron will help us navigate the different emotions and complex questions that may be arising in relation to his passing, drawing upon her own experiences with Lama Zopa Rinpoche and his students, as well as her deep knowledge of the Dharma.
About the Teacher
Venerable Thubten Chodron is an author, teacher, and the founder and abbess of Sravasti Abbey, one of the first Tibetan Buddhist training monasteries for Western nuns and monks in the US. She graduated from UCLA, and did graduate work in education at USC. Ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun in 1977, she has studied extensively with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tsenshab Serkong Rinpoche, and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. She received full ordination as a bhikshuni in 1986.
Venerable Chodron teaches worldwide and is known for her warm, practical, and humorous explanations of how to apply Buddhist teachings in daily life. She is also involved in prison outreach and interfaith dialogue. She has published many books on Buddhist philosophy and meditation, and is currently assisting His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the writing and publication of The Library of Wisdom and Compassion, a multi-volume series of teachings on the Buddhist path. Visit thubtenchodron.org for a media library of her teachings, and sravasti.org to learn more about Sravasti Abbey.